WASHINGTON (1/15/10)--Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) this week reiterated his support for increasing the member business lending cap for credit unions, telling a group at Cortland, N.Y.’s CFCU Community Credit Union that in 2010 he must “focus” on increasing lending to the small businesses that “are the lifeblood” of the American economy. Credit unions are well-positioned to help small businesses in central N.Y., adding that the MBL bill will provide “a major boost” for credit unions. Schumer late last year joined Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in sponsoring Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-Colo.) S. 2919, which would increase the credit union MBL cap to 25% of assets raise the "de minimis" threshold for a loan to be considered a member business loan to $250,000. Schumer, like fellow Senator Hagan, cited Credit Union National Association (CUNA) statistics which estimated that lifting the MBL cap would allow credit unions nationwide to lend up to $10 billion in funds to small businesses in the first year that the cap has been lifted. CUNA has also stated that the MBL reforms would create over 100,000 new jobs. A mere 10 of Central N.Y.’s credit unions currently lend to small businesses, and Schumer said that lifting the cap would encourage credit unions that are not currently lending to small businesses to begin doing so.